What’s Needed to Make a Good Author Marketing Platform

In a blog post for DBW, Reedsy founder Emmanuel Nataf writes that “discoverability is a space Reedsy hasn’t entered… And there are good reasons why.”

“Readers don’t have a discoverability problem: everyone and everything from friends to family to newsletters are there to give you ideas for your next read,” Nataf writes. “It’s on the other side of the discoverability equation (helping authors get discovered) where there’s room for improvement.”

So, Nataf asks, “how can we create a platform that helps authors improve discoverability and build a loyal readership?”

SpotlightMuch more.


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PRH Returns to Agency Pricing (Pub Lunch)
As of September 1st, Penguin Random House “has followed their peers in returning to full agency ebook pricing in the US (except, as required by the court, Apple retains discretion to discount, and competitors appear allowed to price match when Apple does so).”

Trade Sales Fall in May (DBW)
In a press release, the American Association of Publishers announced that book sales for January through May were down 5.8 percent for the year to date at $4.0 billion compared to $4.3 billion for the same five months last year. Trade books declined 3.4 percent, falling to 2.56 billion from 2.65 billion, and digital audio remained the fastest-growing format, with 38.0 percent growth through May compared to the same time last year. Paperbacks also continued their good performance this year with 8.4 percent growth.

SpotlightThe Audience Information Sheet (Mike Shatzkin)
Mike Shatzkin writes that “a core purpose of the marketing effort for books today is to get them ‘discovered’. That largely means having them show up high on the list of returns for relevant searches.” While the copy a publisher creates has typically been meant for other businesses and was designed for them to then help communicate the book to buyers, in today’s digital age the copy the publisher creates “will almost certainly be seen more often by potential customers for the book than by industry professionals.” In other words, the copy must be B2C, not B2B. Shatzkin and his company, Logical Marketing, thus created the Audience Information Sheet to supplant the commonly used Title Information Sheet.

How Streaming Is Changing Audiobook Consumption (Bookseller)
Streaming services are by no means as popular for audiobooks as they are for music, but there are certainly signs of development in this area. There are more and more services cropping up, and “looming large in the background is, of course, Audible and its current download service. The appearance of the Audible chart is a welcome development and further statistics would be welcomed by the industry as the market grows further.”

SpotlightSelf-Publishing Beyond the Book (Jane Friedman)
Publishing consultant Jane Friedman interviews self-published author Jay Swanson about his real-time fantasy blog, Into the Nanten, which Friedman calls “a multimedia universe of offerings” and Swanson bills as “the world’s first real time fantasy blog.” “It feels like we work pretty hard for each reader, but once we’re in front of people they tend to stay,” Swanson says. “Cutting through the noise is the single greatest challenge in the project overall—and ultimately that’s the underlying purpose for it in the first place… The biggest successes have come from direct communication—whether through the Kickstarter or in person at conventions.”

SpotlightGrowth Hacking Is the Next Big Thing in Marketing (Ad Age)
Growth hacking is “an iterative customer acquisition and retention strategy that sits at the intersection of product development and marketing” and “bakes marketing into the product by relying on social dynamics and network effects.” Ad Age uses the examples of Airbnb, Instagram, Uber and others to detail why brands need to take up this strategy “and stretch further their ever-shrinking marketing budgets.”

72% of College Students Prefer Print over Ebooks (PR Newswire)
Seven out of 10 college students prefer print textbooks over ebooks, according to a survey conducted by Direct Textbook, a comprehensive textbook price comparison engine. Textbook purchasing trends align with the survey results: according to the Student Monitor, 87 percent of textbooks purchased by students in 2014 were print editions (36 percent new, 36 percent used, 15 percent rented). Ebooks comprised only nine percent of the market. The remaining four percent was made up by file sharing.

eBookids Launches with Unique Features (Digital Reader)
eBookids is a new subscription ebook service aimed directly at children ages 3-9. Launched less than two months ago, the service currently has a limited selection of 350 titles available in English, French and Spanish. What separates the service from others, though, is that rather than signing deals with publishers, eBookids has a team of three illustrators and two authors who create all its stories. eBookids also enhances the ebooks with audio, and it has a Youtube channel where the books are read to children.

Kobo Launches Touch 2.0 Ereader (Digital Reader)
Toronto-based Kobo announced its second new ereader this year with the release of the Kobo Touch 2.0. According to The Digital Reader, the device “updates the four-year-old Kobo Touch ereader with more storage, longer battery life, a faster CPU, and a lower price. It has a 1GHz CPU, 4GB storage, and Wifi, but no audio or card slot. Its 6″ screen sports a resolution of 800 x 600 and an IR touchscreen, but there is no frontlight.”

Publishing Technology Launches New Online Platform ingentaDrive (DBW)
In a press release, Publishing Technology announced the launch of ingentaDrive, “a new packaged online solution that allows publishers to go live with fully branded, online sites, delivered from the cloud, within weeks.”

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